Shiba Inu

1. Essential Qualities and its Expression:

 The nature of Japanese dogs can be expressed in three very important
words, "KAN- I", "RYOSEI" and "SOBOKU".
"KAN- I" means strength of character and dignity. Dogs may be lively and
bold without being excessively aggressive to the point of noble excellence.
"RYOSEI" means faithful and obedient. Dogs should have total trust and
attachment to the owners expressing full bond and partnership.
"SOBOKU" means natural beauty from seasoned maturity and modest
appearance. Its expression is feeling of refined simplicity and sober
These qualities are basic nature inborn to all Japanese dogs and in totality,
these qualities express the essential characteristics of the Japanese dogs.
In addition, shibas should have sharp and keen senses, quick and nimble
movements together with light, elastic steps.

2. General Physical Appearance:

It is important to have distinct masculine or feminine features. The body is
proportionately balanced with compact frame. Muscles must be well
developed and a height to length ratio should be 100 to 110 with female
having a little longer body. Chest to foreleg ratio should be 50/50. The
heights are 39.5cm and 36.5cm for male and female respectively. The
allowable range is 38cm to 41cm for male and 35cm to 38cm for female.
The height is measured at the back of shoulder with coat pressed.

3. Ears:

The size of ears should be small and proportionate with head size. They are
scalene triangle in shape with inside straight and outside somewhat round,
standing firmly and slightly leaning forward. The ears should appear thick
and full.

4. Eyes:

Eyes should be set deep with strength. They are somewhat triangular and
slant upward at the outside corner. Dark brown iris is ideal. Black or light
colors are not desirable.

5. Muzzle:

Firm muzzle projects out of full cheeks. Bridge of the nose is straight. Base
of muzzle is round and stout, tapering slightly to black pointed nose. Under
jaw should have thickness to give round appearance. Lips are thin, tight and
firmly straight without any slackness. Stop is moderate. Teeth are strong
and complete with proper scissors bite. Any thing less than 42 teeth or
marking on tongue are not desirable.

6. Head and Neck:

The forehead is broad, the cheeks well developed and neck is sturdy and
powerful with moderate length and thickness.

7. Forelegs:

Forelegs are straight and spaced at chest width, elbows close to the body.
Pasterns have slight angle with paws knuckled up in tight grip. The
shoulder blades well developed with moderate angle.

8. Hind legs:

Hind legs are muscular and well developed with a natural stance. The hook
joint is tenaciously strong with proper angle, paws having firm grip.

9. Chest:

The fore chest is well developed; ribs are moderately sprung in oval shape
(eggs shape). Chest depth is approximately one half of total height.

10. Back and Loin:

The top line is straight from the shoulder to the base of the tail. Loins are
strong and should not move vertically or horizontally at trot.

11. Tail:

The tail is powerful with moderate thickness, either sickle or curled. The tip
of the tail should almost reach to the hook joint. Sickle tail should point
forward. Curled tail means loose curl with strength. Tight double curled
tails and short tails are not desirable.

12. Coat:

Guard hairs are stiff and straight having clear color. Undercoat is soft and
thick like cotton having pale color. Tail hair is slightly longer and stands
open. Coat colors allowed in Shiba Inu are red, red sesame and black and
tan. (The sesame means black-tipped outer hair sprinkled throughout the
red coat.) Clear Urajiro white should only appear on cheeks, lower jaw,
chest, belly, back of the legs and tail. Over extension of Urajiro white is not

(Translated and adapted from Nippo web site)

To the First Page
To the First Page
Back to Previous Page
Back to Previous Page